With only 66.8% of the voting age population having voted in the 2020 presidential election and 53.4% in the 2018 midterm, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2022’s Most & Least Politically Engaged States, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.
To determine where Americans are most involved in politics, WalletHub compared the 50 states based on 10 key indicators of political engagement. These range from the percentage of registered voters in the 2020 presidential election to total political contributions per adult population.
Political Engagement in Arkansas (1=Most; 25=Avg.):
- 50th – % of Registered Voters in 2020 Presidential Election
- 50th – % of Electorate Who Voted in 2018 Midterm Elections
- 50th – % of Electorate Who Voted in 2020 Presidential Election
- 50th – Change in % of Electorate Who Actually Voted in 2020 Elections vs. 2016 Elections
- 27th – Total Political Contributions per Adult Population
- 45th – Voter Accessibility Policies
Why are some states more politically engaged than others?
“Several reasons. We know from quantitative work that education and income correlate highly with voter turnout. So, states, where a greater proportion of people have college degrees and higher incomes (i.e., Massachusetts, Minnesota, etc.), will tend to have higher voter turnout rates. The ease of voting also helps. States where voting by mail is possible and where someone can register to vote close to election time will have fewer barriers in the way for people to vote, which should cause turnout rates to rise.” Alison Johnston – Associate Professor, Oregon State University
What are effective local strategies for increasing political engagement?
“To encourage people to vote, there are several things authorities can do: 1) Make election days national holidays so that people don’t have to choose between paying bills and civic engagement 2) Drop voter ID laws and follow the example of states like Massachusetts which make it easier to participate 3) Provide transportation to polling stations from high-density areas 4) Encourage more young people and minorities to run for office so that voters will feel their interests are being represented in political institutions.” Daniel Aldrich – Professor & Director of the Security and Resilience Studies Program, Northeastern University